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Glazing advocacy for the industry

Your industry advocate, NGA promotes and defends the use of glass in the built environment.


  • works with domestic and international standards and codes bodies

  • provides education on the benefits of glazing and glass building products

  • represents the glass industry’s best interests on key issues

Review NGA’s current activities by topic

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From NGA's Advocacy & Technical Services Department 

September 2020

Special note: We hope this newsletter finds you healthy and safe. Here are the latest updates on the important technical and codes work NGA is focusing on.

GlassBuild Connect
GlassBuild Connect is happening now. Invite your colleagues, and architect and design contacts to attend for free. GlassBuild Connect is an online event happening throughout the month of September, connecting buyers and sellers, and delivering focused learning opportunities, including the chance for architects to earn AIA continuing education credits. With many local events being canceled, architects can take this opportunity to earn continuing education credits from glass industry experts.

Mark Your Calendar: Featured GlassBuild Connect Educational Presentations

September 16 at 2:30 pm ET - Security Glazing for Schools: Schools look increasingly to glass and glazing to better protect students in the event of threats, from fires to intruders or active shooters. Find out about the range of solutions the glass and glazing industry can provide to keep occupants safe, learn about the test standards and code requirements, and hear guidelines for designing safer schools. This session, presented by Urmilla Sowell, NGA Advocacy and Technical Director, will also be available for viewing at your convenience on demand. Architects can earn 1.0 AIA LU.

September 17 at 2:30 pm ET - The Thirsty Thursday webinar series is provided by NGA as a free educational opportunity once per month for the entire glass and glazing industry. You’ll want to be sure to get a front row seat for “The Glass Evidence for a Second Shooter,” presented by glass consultant Chris Barry and taking place on September 17 at 2:30 pm during GlassBuild Connect. Mr. Barry will educate us on glass breakage analysis for forensics in the context of an historic event that touched all our lives - the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Architects can earn 0.5 AIA LU|Elective. Registration for GlassBuild Connect is required to attend September’s Thirsty Thursday. Please note the updated time - 2:30 pm ET.

September 29 at 2:30 pm ET - Glass Can’t Do That, Can It? Take a closer look at next generation glass technologies, presented by Charlie Boyer of VIG Technologies, Juha Lilja of StealthCase Oy, Miles Barr of Ubiquitous Energy, Steve Selkowitz of LBNL and Tom Culp of Birch Point Consulting. This session will explore the proactive research, development and execution of glass applications that provide a value-added experience to users and occupants. Didn’t think glass could do that? Let us show you how it does. Architects can earn 1.0 AIA LU.

September 30 at 2:30 pm ET - There’s a Glass for That, in collaboration with Architectural Record, will be presented by Sophie Pennetier of Enclos, Robert Garlipp of Gensler, Kai-Uwe Bergmann of BIG, and Urmilla Sowell of NGA on the final day of GlassBuild Connect. Glass as a material has widespread technological, decorative and practical uses. Its list of properties and capabilities has allowed glass to impact modern architecture in a way that distinguishes it from other building materials, resulting in high-performing facades and unique experiences for its occupants. Glass is the material of choice to enhance spaces where people live, play, learn, work and heal. Architects can earn 1.0 AIA LU.

Visit GlassBuild Connect today to register and attend these educational sessions for free. See the full schedule.

Advocacy Update
Windows PCR - Call to Action

NGA, FGIA and WDMA are currently updating the industry-wide Windows Product Category Rules (PCR) document, which is set to expire this month. Please note that there are no membership fees required for participation. If you are interested in participating as a PCR Committee Observer (non-voting) or a Public Commenter, please notify Urmilla Sowell at NGA or Andrea Burr at NSF ( to be added to the public comment distribution list. Please note that a public commenter is only notified once to review the final draft PCR document.

Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z97 Releases 2020 Version of ANSI Z97.1 Standard 
The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) Z97 announced the reaffirmation of ANSI Z97.1-2015 Safety glazing materials used in buildings – safety performance specifications and methods of test. This standard establishes the specifications and methods of test for the safety properties of safety glazing materials (glazing materials designed to promote safety and reduce the likelihood of cutting and piercing injuries when the glazing materials are broken by human contact) used for all building and architectural purposes. No technical content or methods of test were changed between the 2015 and 2020 versions. The ANSI Z97.1-2015 (R2020) version of the standard will be available for purchase at

Select ASTM Standards Free for COVID-19 ASTM Response
ASTM International is providing no-cost public access to important ASTM standards used in the production and testing of personal protective equipment - including face masks, medical gowns, gloves, and hand sanitizers - to support manufacturers, test labs, health care professionals, and the general public as they respond to the global COVID-19 public health emergency. Access the standards from ASTM.

Recently Published Resources
The NGA Fabricating Committee has published a new Glass Technical Paper (GTP) Introduction to Vacuum Insulating Glazing. This document explains terminology, current applications, energy and acoustic performance and test standards for those unfamiliar with VIG. Visit the NGA website to download this new resource, provided free for the glass industry thanks to our member volunteers.

Call for Volunteers
The NGA Fabricating Committee has established two new task groups to update the following Glass Technical Papers:

  • Durability and Testing of Painted Decorative Mounted Glass
  • Assessment of the Weatherability & Durability of Decorative Glass

Please consider joining one or both groups. Our active task groups meet every four to six weeks to develop new technical resources and revise existing publications. Task group meetings generally last 30 to 60 minutes, with additional time on a volunteer basis to draft content. Contact Amber Johnson to join the task group.

Published Resources: Most Popular Downloads

NGA committees develop and update Glass Technical Papers (GTPs) and Manuals to reflect the latest developments and trends within the industry. We would like to recognize the top five publications having the most downloads during the last quarter. Congrats to the task groups who worked on these resources.

  • Security Glazing - The objective of this document is to provide information on security (forced entry) glazing options for windows and doors installed in schools, commercial, medical, public, worship and other building types. Before the glazing is specified, it is important to determine the assets, threat/hazard, vulnerability, and risk associated with the specific building type.
  • Glass for Personal Protective Barriers - Many businesses are installing clear personal protective barriers to physically shield employees from each other and from consumers to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19. Glass has several advantages in physical barrier applications and may be preferred over plastic, especially for permanent and public-facing barrier installations. Compared to plastic, glass is easy-to-clean, transparent and aesthetically-pleasing.
  • Approximate Weight of Architectural Flat Glass - Design professionals, wall system manufacturers, and construction managers often need the weight of materials for engineering and construction site considerations. The table within this document gives approximate weights of architectural flat glass by thickness designations as published by North American manufacturers.
  • Bird-Friendly Glass Design Strategies - Clear and reflective architectural glass in residential and commercial structures in urban, suburban, and rural landscapes can be a passive invisible killer of birds worldwide. Our collective evidence reveals that clear and reflective windows of all sizes are theorized to be invisible to potentially all birds due to what have been defined as fly-through conditions, reflected habitat conditions, or black-hole effect. The amount of glass and associated vegetation that attract potential victims best explain the number of casualties at any specific building.
  • Design Considerations for Laminated Glazing Applications - Modern architectural designs often require glazing materials that provide enhanced levels of security and safety performance properties. These properties include resistance to ballistics, blast, hurricane/cyclic wind pressures and physical attack. Applications may also require desirable properties such as sound reduction, fade resistance, and solar and thermal control. Design professionals and building owners should be aware of the considerations contained within this document when selecting and specifying laminated glazing constructions.

AIA-Approved Presentations
NGA is an approved AIA Provider and, thanks to the involvement of its volunteer members, has ten (10) approved presentations as part of its resource library.

We’re pleased to announce we have a brand-new presentation available: Reflected Solar Energy of Glazing Systems in Buildings. This course is designed to educate architects about the impacts of solar energy as it’s reflected off buildings. It will offer design considerations to reduce the possible effects of the reflective characteristics of exterior cladding materials and glazing systems. Environmental, architectural and material elements will be discussed with regard to how each impacts reflectivity levels.

Members may use these presentations as a resource when reaching out to architects and other interested parties. They are approved for use as either in-person or virtual presentations. Find more information and get involved online. An individual must simply become an approved presenter of these presentations of their choice and the materials to conduct a presentation from start to finish will be provided to you. Upon completion of a presentation, simply return the sign-in sheet. Credit will be recorded with AIA and certificates will be provided, if requested.

Download the AIA speaker agreement. Contact Sara Neiswanger with inquiries.

NGA’s advocacy and technical initiatives respond to the relentless, ever-changing challenges to our industry. NGA is the glass and glazing authority; we are a resource for our members and the industry at large. Our mission is to defend and protect as we champion the benefits of glazing and glass building products. We thank our volunteer members, industry partners and expert consultants who work tirelessly to ensure glass and glazing is at the forefront of all discussions impacting building regulations and innovation in construction.

NGA is actively involved with standards and codes bodies including the International Codes Council, ASTM International and ASHRAE, among others, to promote and defend the use of glass in the built environment. Recent activities include:

CSA A460 Bird Friendly Building Design

NGA has submitted comments designed to promote and protect new and current glass technologies in Canada’s CSA A460 standard, which covers bird-friendly building design in both new construction and existing buildings. Learn more.

ASHRAE 90.1-2019

For the last two years, the NGA advocacy team has worked with other industry associations and public officials to successfully work new performance requirements for windows, doors and skylights into the ASHRAE 90.1 energy standard for buildings, which were approved in Spring 2019. Read more.

ASHRAE 90.1-2019, published in October 2019, includes the following revisions: 

  • Updated commercial fenestration criteria  
  • No reduction in window area 
  • Increased daylighting controls  
  • Cleared barriers for use of VIG in walk-in coolers and freezers 
  • Commissioning requirements including more focus on air leakage  

Tom Culp serves as co-vice-chair of the ASHRAE 90.1 committee and helped lead the effort on updating the fenestration requirements. Culp commented, "This was a long effort over 2½ years involving many parties from industry, energy efficiency advocates, architects, building code officials, and more. I'm proud to see the final result where we were able to negotiate values that advance energy efficiency while being cost effective and practical for the industry, resolved arguments that have been going on for 15 years, and achieved nearly unanimous support at both ASHRAE and ICC." 

School Security

While current building codes do not require security glazing in schools, a growing number of school districts nationwide are looking to meet voluntary security glazing standards to provide additional protection for their buildings. NGA is participating in a multi-industry effort with the National Fire Protection Association, ASTM International and ICC to provide guidance in this effort. In addition, NGA presented this topic as part of its Thirsty Thursday webinar series and is working on a glass technical paper on school security.

California AB262

NGA’s Forming Committee issued public comments on California AB262, voicing concerns about the bill’s technical flaws which will affect the flat glass manufacturers and the industry. NGA also responded regarding facility specific data for the implementation of CA AB262.

Known as the Buy Clean California Act, AB262 asks bidders on public works projects in California to submit an EPD, or Environmental Product Declaration, for specified flat glass products. NGA continues to work with supporters of the bill to clarify the language, ensure they understand the effects, and educate them about the glass and glazing industry.

To learn more about EPDs and their potential impact on your glass company, watch the video, “The Why, How and Business Value of LCA and EPDs.”

Download NGA's Building Compliance FAQs to learn more about the use of glass as it relates to CA AB262, EPDs, PCRs and more.


NYC’s “Green Deal”

In April, the glass industry witnessed this jarring headline coming out of New York City: "NYC’s ‘Green New Deal’ to Ban Glass, Steel Skyscrapers.” And while research revealed the mayor was not actually announcing a ban on glass and steel buildings in New York City, his anti-glass statements and over-simplistic labeling of glass as a poor energy performer were harmful to the glass industry. With voices from the code, architect, and glazing contractor communities, the NGA has organized a panel discussion at the 2019 Glazing Executives Forum to address how initiatives like the Green New Deal can hurt the glass industry, and what glass companies can do to comply with this requirement. Read, “What You Need to Know about the Green New Deal.”

This June, the NGA launched the new Glass & Glazing Design Academy, made available to architects and industry professionals through a new partnership with Architectural Record. The academy is hosted online in Architectural Record’s Continuing Education Center and will feature nine one-hour LU/HSW accredited courses. The courses, which were developed by NGA and its member volunteers, cover a range of topics including insulating glass, laminated glass, protective glazing, fire-rated glazing, decorative glass, and more.

“This new academy, and partnership with Architectural Record as a whole, speaks to NGA’s commitment to upholding our education and advocacy strategic goals,” says Andrew Haring, vice president of Business Development for NGA. “We graciously accept the responsibility of promoting and protecting glass as the building material of choice. Educating the architectural community and simplifying the specification process is paramount. The Glass and Glazing Design Academy accomplishes this.”

Join NGA's Advocacy Committee!